Elisabeth Carpenter

99 Red Balloons

"...a fantastic crime read which drums up more mysteries that need to be solved."


Eight-year-old Grace goes missing on her way home from school, the clock to finding her starts ticking. Her family all come together to help find her but as the investigation continues it delves further into their family history.

The tale of Grace's abduction echoes too familiar for another family who reunite to ask some questions of their own family's past, when another girl disappeared in exactly the same manner...

Are the two cases connected? And if so what has drawn them together?

Reading about the family as they sit and wait was by far much harder than following a police investigation, more often than not there is no news (which in this case is not good news), the waiting is agonising and in those moments, you can really feel for the family who is suffering.

The novel has a tangled web of lies and family history, the tale goes far deeper than the current kidnapping, and like those involved you are also kept in the dark till a stunner of an announcement is made that will rock the family and the current investigation.

Purchase the book from Amazon.


The story is told really well, in certain chapters you make the assumption about what you're reading but Carpenter is tricking her readers into making these, as you later find out it was a completely different scenario you are reading about. And I just love those moments where a book makes you pause to think back on what you thought you read and now see in a different light. There is a mixture of viewpoints and voices in this narrative, but I loved reading about Steph and Emma, their sisterly bond remains strong throughout the novel even with a few revelations along the way. They are great representations of pillars for their family and holding themselves and their remaining family together. '99 Red Balloons' is an intense read, as you sit, much like the family does, waiting for the novel to unfold - you wonder where is Grace? And what secrets do her family hold? This is a fantastic crime read which drums up more mysteries that need to be solved, the only way of cracking them is to keep reading!

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